Richard Edward Mackin
Richard Edward Mackin
  • November 22, 1931 - January 2, 2018
  • Williamsburg, Virginia

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Richard Edward "Dick" Mackin, 86, died Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at Riverside Doctors Hospital in Williamsburg, as a result of heart failure.

He leaves his wife of 61 years, Sue (Stapleton) Mackin; two sons, Michael (Mary), Patrick (Jeanne); grandchildren Kathleen (Christian Kline), Benjamin (Ashley), Annah, and Samuel; great grandsons Sean and Daniel Kline; and many close friends. He is predeceased by his daughter, Mary K. Mackin, who passed in 2013.

Born in 1931 in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Col. James and Gladys (Heath) Mackin, he was a career U.S. Army officer and longtime resident of Hampton, Virginia.

After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1956, he served in numerous infantry and aviation assignments across the country and around the world, including two tours in the Republic of Vietnam. He retired from the Army in 1986 at the rank of Colonel. In 1959, he made headlines when he was held captive in communist East Germany before his release was negotiated by the International Red Cross.

Col. Mackin's last Army posting was as installation commander of Fort Monroe in Hampton, from 1983 to 1986, an assignment he and Sue cherished. After retirement, he remained in Hampton, serving as Director of the NASA Langley Visitors Center and vice president for operations for defense firm DTSV in Newport News.

Following his working years, Col. Mackin continued to serve his community as president of the Fort Monroe Historical and Archaeological Association and president of the Casemate Foundation. He was also active in his parish, Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic church, on Fort Monroe.
Col. Mackin will be remembered by family and friends as a kind and gentle man, full of wit and self-deprecating humor, a love of family, of history, and the occasional glass of wine overlooking the tidal canals from his backyard deck.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 o'clock, January 17 at Saint Mary Star of the Sea on Fort Monroe. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in his name to Catholic Relief Services, 228 W. Lexington Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201 (

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